Bi-Weekly VP Update March 18
Dear MIIS Community:
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the start of sheltering in place due to the pandemic. Thankfully, COVID-19 trends in Monterey County are improving, and our campus COVID is evolving as a result. As we head into spring break, I want to update you on what’s changing – and what remains unchanged – in our COVID policies for the second half of the spring semester.
What will change, beginning Monday, March 28:
- Indoor masking in common areas will be optional. This includes the Holland Center, the Samson Center, building lobbies, and the Library. At Munras Housing, masking will be optional in lounges, hallways, study rooms, and the kitchen, except for groups of five or more. Masking is not required when you are alone in your personal office, or, for Munras Housing residents, in your room. Wearing masks is a personal choice and many members of the Institute community will likely continue to wear masks. We ask that everyone respect those who continue to wear a mask.
- Guests will be allowed at outdoor MIIS-sponsored events, but only if guests are included in event planning by the organizers beforehand (i.e. no walk-ins).
- Our guidance up until now has been that meetings among staff and faculty should be entirely on Zoom. That is no longer the case. Staff and faculty, as well as student clubs and other MIIS organizations are invited to re-think their meeting strategy, and consider in-person meetings to foster engagement among the participants. There are many rooms available across campus for in-person or hybrid meetings that can be reserved by submitting a Room Reservation Request Form. Most importantly, do what is comfortable for attendees. Masks will continue to be required for indoor meetings.
What will not change:
- Masking will still be required in all classrooms and conference rooms.
- Those that are not vaccinated against COVID-19 due to a religious or medical exemption must remain masked at all times while indoors.
- Lanyards with ID cards and COVID compliance stickers will continue to be required at all times while on campus.
- If you are sick, especially with COVID symptoms, stay at home. Test regularly for COVID. As a reminder, if you test positive for COVID-19, guidelines are in place for notification and care.
- Guests will not be allowed to attend MIIS-sponsored indoor events. Case-by-case exceptions can be requested by emailing Barbara Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Returning from Spring Break: If you are traveling over spring break, you are strongly encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus. Munras Housing residents have been provided additional guidance on testing by Director of Residential Life Saiya Yanagihashi.
As a reminder, free rapid tests and masks are still available in the Segal Building Monday - Friday between 10 am and 2 pm. As always, you can view all return to campus policies and updates on our return to campus web page.
I wish everyone a relaxing spring break, and hope that you return rejuvenated for the remaining weeks of the academic year. Thanks to each of you for your efforts in following the COVID mandates over the past two years. Your cooperation has enabled us to continue our educational mission.
VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Institute